READINGS for 2008-01-18

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

 

FASTEST HEALiNg YET
 
They were all completely amazed and praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” – Mark 2:12
 
Two years ago, our daughter who was only six years old then was diagnosed with a rare condition called localized scleroderma. One side of her body, which included her arms and legs, had developed lesion-like rashes that initially appeared as dry skin patches. It was a condition whose cause and cure has not yet been identified.
        The doctors said it could spread throughout her body. It might also affect the growth of her bones on certain joints. The experimental medicines might affect her internal organs and there is no guarantee that it will work.
        After a couple of days of feeling down, all we could do was to lift up our daughter to the Lord. Family and friends prayed for her healing, too. We also brought her to a couple of healing priests who prayed over her. At the same time, we followed all the instructions and medications given by her doctor.
       Nine months after she was first diagnosed, we visited the doctor for her regular checkup. I can still recall the words the doctor uttered: “Her case has to be one of the fastest healing I have seen! From my observation, your daughter is well already.” Alvin Fabella
 
REFLECTION:
 
When faced with a medical impossibility, do you take the word of the doctor or the Word of God?
 
Lord, You are the Greatest Healer and You have proven this several times already in my life. Some parts of my life now need Your healing. I pray that You touch me so that all aspects of my life may be healed and may be used for Your further glory. 
COMPANION

 

1st READING
 
Even a man as influential as Samuel can fail to hold sway when the mind of the people work against him. He warns the people that there will be consequences if a king is introduced into Israel’s governance, but they will not heed him. He was right but that is no consolation a hundred years later. We see God’s willingness to allow humanity its freedom in the calling for a king. Even though he has been rejected as King of Israel, He will not abandon His people.
 
1 Samuel 8:4-7,10-22 a
4 All the elders of Israel came in a body to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, “Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us.” 6 Samuel was displeased when they asked for a king to judge them. He prayed to the LORD, however, 7 who said in answer “Grant the people’s every request. It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.” 10 Samuel delivered the message of the LORD in full to those who were asking him for a king. 11 He told them “The rights of the king who will rule you will be as follows He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses, and they will run before his chariot. 12 He will also appoint from among them his commanders of groups of a thousand and of a hundred soldiers. He will set them to do his plowing and his harvesting, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will use your daughters as ointment-makers, as cooks, and as bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his officials. 15 He will tithe your crops and your vineyards, and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves. 16 He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best oxen and your asses, and use them to do his work. 17 He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When this takes place, you will complain against the king whom you have chosen, but on that day the LORD will not answer you.” 19 The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel’s warning and said, “Not so! There must be a king over us. 20 We too must be like other nations, with a king to rule us and to lead us in warfare and fight our battles.” 21 When Samuel had listened to all the people had to say, he repeated it to the LORD, 22 who then said to him, “Grant their request and appoint a king to rule them.”
 
P S A L M
 
Psalm 89: 16- 17, 18- 19
 
R: Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
 
15 [16] Blessed the people who know the joyful shout; in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk. 16 [17] At your name they rejoice all the day, and through your justice they are exalted. (R) 17 [18] For you are the splendor of their strength, and by your favor our horn is exalted. 18 [19] For to the LORD belongs our shield, and to the Holy One of Israel, our king. (R)
 
G O S P E L
 
Jesus demonstrates His power over both sin and sickness here. Whatever way we want to look at it, we cannot deny this. It is important for us to realize that God wants us to know He has the power to do these things. It’s not because He will always demonstrate this power when we ask; He wants us to know that He can do it if He so desires. Let us pray for the grace to entrust all our problems to the Lord with faith. He will do what is necessary for us.
 
Mark 2: 1-12
1 When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. 2 Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, 7 “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” 8 Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” — 11 he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” 12 He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
 
my reflections
think:: Do we entrust our problems to the Lord with faith that He will do what is necessary for us?
 
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God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
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T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Mark 5-8
 
 
GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS
 
 
Saint ElizabEth ann SEton
 
Elizabeth Ann Bayley-Seton, the first native-born American saint, was born on August 28, 1774 in New York City. She belonged to a wealthy and influential Episcopalian family, raised in the high society of New York during the late 18th century.
 
She married William Magee Seton, a rich businessman, at the age of 19. Business failed after 10 years of marriage. When William died of tuberculosis, Elizabeth was left with five children. Soon after, she drew close to the Catholic faith,  believing in God’s presence in the Eucharist and in the lineage of the Church, originating from Christ and His disciples. Thus, on March 14, 1805, Elizabeth converted to Catholicism.
 
To support her family and ensure the education of her children, Elizabeth opened a school in Boston. She ran it with a community of religious people.
 
Through the invitation of Bishop Carroll in 1808, Elizabeth opened St. Joseph’s College, an exclusive Catholic school for girls in Baltimore, Maryland. This began the parochial school system in America. To help in running the system, Elizabeth founded the Sisters of Charity in 1809, the first native American religious community for women. Before she passed away on January 4, 1821, this religious community has increased to 20.
 
Elizabeth was beatified on March 17, 1963 by Pope John XXIII and canonized on September 14, 1975 by Pope Paul VI.
 
http://education.yahoo.com
 
 
Saint John nEumann
 
Born on March 28, 1811 at Prachititz, Bohemia (Czech Republic), John Neumann was named after John Nepomucene, martyr of Confessors. He was the son of Philip, a German stock factory owner, and Agnes, a Czech. John grew up as an  excellent student, living as a seminarian at Budweis, Bohemia. Despite his education in astronomy and botany, John felt
being drawn to religious service. Thus, he studied theology at Charles Ferdinand University at Prague in 1833.
 
John was ordained in America on June 28, 1836. He chose to preach in a difficult country area in Buffalo where he stayed in a small town with an unfinished church, then moved to a town with a log church after the first was completed. The priest lived in poverty, serving parishioners from many lands and tongues.
 
John joined the Redemptorists at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1840, served as a missionary in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia ; then as a rector of St. Philomena Church in Pittsburgh. Three years later in 1847, John became vice-regent and superior of the Redemptorists in America then as bishop of Philadelphia in 1852.
 
Before the bishop died on January 5, 1860 John was able to establish 50 churches and a cathedral and opened a hundred schools which number grew from 500 to 9,000.
 
John Neumann was beatified on October 13, 1963 at Rome, Italy and was canonized by Pope Paul VI on June 19, 1977.
 
www.catholic-forum.com
 
 
SABBATH

 

aBout insistenCe
 
Insistent people can get on our nerves. But in the end, they get what they want – like the four men who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing. Because of the crowd, they could not enter the house, so they destroyed the roof to let their friend down into the presence of Jesus. If only we had such perseverance and insistence to overcome all obstacles in seeking Jesus.
        The paralyzed man needed to be cured. Jesus immediately realized that physical paralysis was not his real problem — it was a heart paralyzed with guilt. Paralysis often has a purely psychological cause. Repressed guilt can produce impotence, frigidity and even complete paralysis of some parts of the body. All aspects of our being are interconnected. Jesus must have known this and goes straight to the root of the problem: He forgives whatever sin this man might have committed, and runs the risk of being accused of blasphemy. Then physical healing takes place.
        Many of us become sick and resort to doctors and medicines. We pray in those times for healing and ask friends to pray for us. When healing is delayed, we conclude that God did not listen to our prayers. But have we ever asked ourselves whether a sin committed, a sinful habit, or an unforgiven hurt might be the cause for the delay in healing? While we continue to consult a doctor and pray for healing, it would also be good to make a very honest examination of conscience and confession. Like the four insistent men in the gospel, Jesus is also insistent on our spiritual health, and the healing of all wounds caused by sin.
        Note that the sick man did not say any word. He neither asked to be forgiven nor to be healed. It was the faith and insistence of his four friends that moved Jesus to act. Kind and sensitive insistence, combined with prayer, may bring a person to where healing and joy will be found: to Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician. Fr. Rudy Horst
 
Reflection Question:
 
Who among my acquaintances would need to be brought to Jesus? How do I best approach that person?
 
Lord, thank You for remindingme to overcome my bahala na attitude and be more insistent when it comes to my spiritual health and bringing people to You. Please, give me always the right words and the right attitude.
 
St. Ammonius, martyr, pray for us.  



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